Construction firm Stepnell launches new learning and apprenticeship opportunity at Heart of Worcestershire College

Artists Impression of the healthcare teaching facility. Credit – Glancy Nicholls Architects

Construction firm Stepnell has announced a new partnership with the Heart of Worcestershire College to provide a range of work experience programmes for its students.

The partnership launches in March 2022 at the University of Worcester’s new state-of-the-art healthcare teaching facility, currently under development at its Severn Campus on Hylton Road, Worcester, with an innovative programme that will see 12 first-year level three electrical students each participate in 30 hours work experience.

The module requires a blended approach between on-site learning and virtual work experience.

This extended interview process will provide students with the opportunity to apply for two apprenticeship vacancies available on the project. Stepnell are also providing 150 hours work experience on-site for a second-year business management student.

Jayne Suthard, training manager at Stepnell, said: “We pride ourselves on creating meaningful partnerships to build opportunities within the communities we work.

“Once we were introduced to the Heart of Worcestershire College by our client, the University of Worcester, we wanted to give back and collaborate with them to provide a strong work placement programme – by providing experience of a live site and an opportunity to gain an apprenticeship at the end.”

The programme with the Heart of Worcestershire College will also support Stepnell’s commitment to continuing its employment of apprentices, which accounts for ten per cent of its total workforce – double the five per cent industry average.

Jayne said: “This really is a unique chance for the students to follow the progress of the healthcare teaching facility, which is a project that was awarded to Stepnell through a framework agreement with the University of Worcester.

“For two of the students, this experience can also lead to a fantastic apprenticeship, which we are thrilled to offer as we understand how important it is to support future skills and create job opportunities for the next generation.”

Mark Evans, assistant director of estates at the University of Worcester, said: “The university makes a significant contribution to the local economy; when procuring works part of our evaluation criteria includes a commitment to working with local contractors and encouraging training and development opportunities wherever possible.

“This is a further example, demonstrating an excellent initiative, which will benefit the local community and we are pleased that our latest development at the university’s Severn Campus is being used as a platform to support local people in the area to gain new skills.

“We are grateful to Stepnell, their site team and their sub-contractors for their encouragement and willingness to collaborate with the Heart of Worcestershire College.”

Stepnell is also working with a range of local organisations to expand its scope of learning and development opportunities, as part of its social value strategy for the university development project, which is forecast to deliver £1.7 million of social and local economic value to the local Worcester community.